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Most people know an email group is a list of people who email each other. Google Groups is so much more. Find out how to use Google Groups.

The first step is to locate the Google Groups page for your Google account. When logged into your Google account, type groups.google.com in the URL bar.

Any groups you belong to will be displayed here. In this case, there are none.

Create your first Google Group

In the upper left corner, click on Create group.

A group needs a name, and an email address, and may have a description.

The email address will be created automatically as the group name, with spaces replaced by dashes. This name can be changed, but must be unique within the entire Google groups community. If you are a business using Google Workspace (G Suite), you can use your own domain name instead of @googlegroups.com and you will have much more control over the naming.

The privacy settings for a group indicate how people will find and be admitted to the group.

Finally, type in email addresses for people who will be in this group. This list can be added to and deleted from at any time.

The subscription field designates whether everyone in the group should receive a copy of every email sent to the group, a digest version of the emails, or no emails. This will depend on the purpose of your group.

People who are not directly added will receive an invitation to the group and will then be able to join if they choose.

Here is the confirmation of the group’s creation.

A Google group’s home page will contain copies of any emails shared among the group members.

Send your first email to the group

In Gmail or in any other email program, you can use the group’s email address to send an email that will be received on the group page and also in each individual member’s inbox.

The email on the group page.

The email in the individual’s Gmail.

Other uses for Google Groups

When you learn how to use Google groups, you will see that the power of groups goes beyond email. A group is an easy way of managing a list of people who may change over time. This list can then be used to set permissions for sharing documents or folders.

Imagine that I share a folder of documents about upcoming events with my neighbors. I can create the folder in Google Drive and it can contain various documents. One way to share would be to invite people individually to share this folder or the documents. New neighbors would be added and neighbors who move would be removed. I would need to keep track of who I was emailing as well.

Using Google groups, I can create a neighborhood group that receives emails and shares document. The group will have people added and removed as appropriate, but it is all in one place.

Give it a try. If you have any questions, please call or email us at SDM Foundation, or go to Google’s groups help page.

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